What is an Inclusive Menu?
The world is changing, and dietary needs are changing, too, as health and personal values factor increasingly into consumers’ dietary choices. More and more, consumers are seeking food and beverage options that accommodate plant-based diets or meet other dietary limitations. Though the ice cream industry has traditionally offered few, if any, viable choices for those following plant-based, dairy-free, or otherwise restrictive diets, Cold Stone Creamery has met the moment by developing a new, inclusive menu that offers something for all ice cream lovers.
An inclusive menu means customers can find options that accommodate a wide range of dietary restrictions, including items that are gluten-free, dairy-free, meatless and/or vegan. For the ice cream industry, providing customers with an inclusive menu means those who may have had to refuse frozen treats in the past can now find something that meets their health needs and lifestyle choices. The vegan and non-dairy ice cream market has surged in recent years, and is expected to continue growing as more and more people seek alternative options to dairy products. Many businesses within the food and beverage industry have risen to the occasion by beginning to offer vegan, dairy-free, and gluten-free items on their menus to accommodate a wider customer base.
Why an Inclusive Menu Matters
Today, nutritional awareness, allergies and food intolerances, and cultural values all play a significant role in where customers choose to eat. With more people modifying their diets to avoid things like dairy, gluten, and meat, the food service industry must adapt in order to maintain their customer base and prevent customers from turning to other businesses for menu items that suit their dietary needs. This is especially true for ice cream brands, which have traditionally offered limited menu options for those with dairy and other dietary restrictions.
In short, expanding the menu means expanding the business’s potential customer base, capturing a wider market and increasing the potential for profit. As plant-based diets become more popular, ice cream brands especially must evolve to accommodate a wide variety of diets and offer non-dairy as well as dairy options to keep their customers coming back.
Vegan Options at Cold Stone Creamery
Cold Stone Creamery has pivoted to embrace the public’s changing dietary needs, and now offers plant-based menu options to recapture the market that has typically been forced to forgo ice cream shops. Now, Cold Stone customers who don’t consume dairy can enjoy the franchise’s first vegan ice cream option – Silk Chocolate Almond Milk Frozen Dessert – which is offered at all Cold Stone Creamery locations nationwide as of January 2022.
The Silk Chocolate Almond Milk Frozen Dessert is made from almond milk and coconut oil, as opposed to milk and cream. The addition of the almond milk-based frozen dessert expands upon Cold Stone’s list of vegan menu options, which includes vegan-friendly sugar cones and vegan mix-ins such as fresh fruit, nuts, and sprinkles. Cold Stone Creamery is among the latest major ice cream franchises to adopt more inclusive menus, offering customers a plant-based ice cream alternative that is lactose and dairy-free.
More Flavors Means More Profit Potential
In addition to expanding its vegan-friendly options, the Cold Stone Creamery franchise has also debuted a new flavor this fall – the Brown Sugar Cookie Dough Sensation ice cream – featuring cookie dough, brown sugar, and caramel.
The brand also welcomed back two fall-themed favorites, The Apple of My Pumpkin Pie ice cream, which includes Pumpkin Bread Batter ice cream, pecans, graham cracker pie crust, apple pie filling, and caramel, and the Pumpkin Bread Batter Pie, a seasonal ice cream pie featuring Pumpkin Bread Batter ice cream in a graham cracker pie crust with white frosting, cinnamon, and chocolate leaves.
By offering seasonal and limited-time menu items, in addition to adopting a more inclusive menu, Cold Stone Creamery motivates customers to keep returning all year long, increasing the potential for profit for franchisees. As a consistently evolving and adapting brand with an inclusive menu, Cold Stone has proven its staying power as one of America’s favorite artisanal ice cream options.
Learn More about Investing in a Cold Stone Creamery Franchise
Adaptability is key in order to maintain a satisfied customer base, as well as increase profit potential. By embracing a more inclusive menu, Cold Stone Creamery has met the changing needs of its customers and proven its adaptability as a business by offering more plant-based menu items to accommodate different dietary needs. Cold Stone Creamery is poised to continue growing its brand as one of America’s most beloved ice cream franchises, which now offers something for everyone.
You can learn more about Cold Stone Creamery, its business model, and everything you need to know about investing in this franchise at our research pages here. If you’re ready to start a conversation about investing in the Cold Stone Creamery franchise opportunity, fill out our form here. We’ll be in touch with more information.
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